Giving Thanks… and Blankets

by Colleen Sinsky

After the below-freezing temperatures last week, I realized how thankful I am for some small things in life that so many of our JOIN friends go without. Our outreach team, as well as our executive director Marc were out every night passing out blankets, hot chocolate, and letting people know about the emergency warming shelters. Outreach has become more of an emotional challenge for me as the temperatures continue to drop and it’s tough for me to build a connection with folks sleeping outside and then go back home to my warm and safe bed. It’s especially tough for me to talk to young women my age who are experiencing homelessness, but I’m so fortunate to be part of an organization that can help individuals make incredible changes in their lives. I was so thrilled to get to go back to my hometown in sunny San Diego and spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my family. I’ve never felt more thankful for my support network and where I am in my life than when it’s contrasted with that of homeless folks who have slipped through the cracks in society. For so many people, their support network consists of a few friends in a situation similar to their own, and JOIN. I feel a strange mix of guilt, responsibility and pride being on the one side of that equation, and I am thankful every day to have the resources and ability to do the work we’re doing at JOIN. The coming weeks will be busy as we push to get families and individuals inside for the holiday season. We would love for you to be involved!

And on NPR this morning I heard a feature about a student in Detroit who reminds me that we’re not the only ones making strides to help homeless people. Check out the Element Survival Coat!